Review: The Monument (Factory Theatre)

The Monument is “haunting, “painful”, “beautiful”, and “vitally important” on stage in Toronto

When Nina Lee Aquino, Artistic Director of Factory Theatre, presented her opening night speech for The Monument she said that Factory Theatre is becoming known for bringing new life to Canadian plays. With the work they’ve done with staging The Monument by Colleen Wagner, a play that originally was shunned and despised by critics, it’s abundantly clear that Factory Theatre is giving life to Canadian plays that need to be seen, especially now when the number of missing and murdered Indigenous women is at an all time high.

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Review: Animal Farm (Soulpepper)

Soulpepper brings “cathartic laughter” to the Toronto stage

George Orwell’s 1945 classic novel Animal Farm was a satirical critique of Stalinism in the Soviet Union. As the program for the production of Soulpepper‘s Animal Farm cheekily notes, “its greatest flaw, identified by a majority of 7th and 8th graders, is that it’s obviously irrelevant to our modern more sophisticated lives.” This new adaptation by Anthony MacMahon takes the premise of the original and applies it it to the issues of today. It also takes the approach of the original, which is not at all subtle. While nuance has a time and place, its not necessary for a hilarious and adept skewering of the current rise of demagogic political leaders.

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Review: Gobsmacked! (Mirvish)

Gobsmacked! is a family-fun a cappella-style musical on stage at the CAA Theatre in Toronto

Even before Glee re-introduced a cappella fever to the viewing public, the art form displayed in the new Mirvish offering Gobsmacked! has had a brilliant history. A cappella groups like Pentatonix now tour and perform, delighting audiences with their range of mouth noises. Gobsmacked! offers a rich sound, centered around obvious star beatboxer Ball-Zee, though overall I found it rather uneven as the various soloists took their turns.

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Review: Artifice (Oakham Community Theatre / Native Earth)

ARTIFICE hits Toronto’s Aki Studio with four plays in one

Reading the description of Oakham Community Theatre‘s Artifice, on stage now at Aki Studio, I was instantly intrigued: ARTIFICE explores that infinitesimal edge between real and unreal. Human nature is to lie, to dissemble – from the masks we wear with loved ones, to the deepest secrets we keep from ourselves… it may be the nature of truth to hide from view”

I’ve been grappling with my own questions of truth, authenticity, and self-awareness and was hoping for some insight, relatability, or even some good questions to take home and mull over. Perhaps my expectations were too great. Unfortunately, my companions Caryhn and Yossie came away from tonight exactly as I did: puzzled, underwhelmed, and a bit exhausted.

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Cheap Theatre in Toronto the Week of March 13th, 2018

Five Shows Under $25 in Toronto this Week

Live theatre shows in Toronto with ticket prices of $25 or less, playing the week of March 13th, 2018. Perfect for the budget-conscious theatre-goer. This week’s selections feature something for the kids, something for the grown-ups, and something for the curious. Check them out below the cut:

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Review: Loot (Bygone Theatre)

British farce plays on the Toronto stage

Bygone Theatre fires off their 2018 season with Joe Orton’s Loot at Alumnae Theatre. I found this to be a production which shines on the technical aspects: the play is set in 1960s England and the set, props and costumes are all faithful representations of that era. The cast adopt English accents, which they maintain respectably well. Unfortunately, I felt that this attention to detail seems to have come at the expense of the humor and character depth offered by the play.

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Review: Inch of Your Life: Episode 1 (The Theatre Circuit)

“Unbelievably thrilling” play lands on the Toronto stage

The Theatre Circuit’s Inch of Your Life: Episode 1 is what happens when you cross a sleek, made-for-tv dramedy with the passion and gusto of 8 expert stage actors.

Inch of Your Life: Episode 1 runs like a one-hour TV episode. The scenes switch back and forth between the A, B and C stories with your classic “sitcom transition music” in between. It’s thrilling, innovative and one of the most unique presentations of theatre I’ve seen on a Canadian stage.

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Playlistings in Toronto for the week of March 12th

Shows That Caught Our Eye in Toronto the Week of March 12th, 2018

This week’s selections are full of new shows, featuring twins on mysterious journeys, a new take on the Bard’s classic King Lear, and much more. There is much to choose from, so here to help you chose is our Editor Samantha, with a few of her top picks in red. Check them out below the cut:

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